Genre: YA Romance
Age Level: 8th grade and up
# of Pages: Hardcover 320
Publisher: Razorbill (March 4, 2010)
BETH HAS ALWAYS BEEN “THE BEAST”--That’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Who could love a beast? Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist and receives the makeover of a lifetime. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth.
Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek. They have an incredible whirlwind romance that makes Beth realize, for the first time, she too can find love. She’s no longer The Beast. In Derek’s eyes, she’s a beauty. But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous passionate feelings she has for Derek?
And there’s an even bigger problem: Derek’s got a secret . . . one that could shatter everything.
Usually I run to my computer to do a review because I want it out there and am ready for others to see what it is all about. This book has caused me to throw a kink in those plans. This is the fourth time I have sat down to write this review and I still don’t think I am processing it all. I featured this one as one of my Waiting on Wednesday’s and contacted Angela to let her know. Lo and behold the wonderful woman that she is sent me a copy. I had to finish one that I was reading but it was motivation to get to this one. I read it in 2 days!! This was a beautiful, heart wrenching story that was so brilliantly written that it was easy for me to relate to Beth on many levels, fall in love with Derek right along with her, and feel Scott’s pain as he begins to feel the cold shoulder from the one he loves. I look at the cover and it brings everything back to me and I feel all the emotion again. I read A LOT and I don’t know that a book has ever had this kind of impact on me. Maybe others have and I just don’t remember it, but I can tell you know that this one will stay with me for a long time!
Angela has done an AMAZING job with not only the plot and characters but the relatability of it all. We often read books because they let us escape and pretend we are the characters in the books. When it comes to Beth, I have the “been there, done that” shirt on. Not that I have ever been called “the Beast” or anything like that (at least I hope not) but that finding first love and figuring out who you are can be confusing, enlightening, amazing, and heart wrenching all wrapped into one. Angela has done an amazing job letting readers feel the raw emotion behind Beth—no matter which emotion that is. Often times when I put a book down because I can’t read it, that is the reason… the characters are not fully developed! I feel like Beth is my best friend now and I watched as she became a beautiful person on the outside to match her inside, fell in love with Derek, had to deal with more than she ever imagined, and in the end, found out who she truly was. (I am crying… again… now)
Derek and Scott’s words were both so poetic and profound throughout the novel as well. I was in band in high school so I kind of understood the whole music thing from that perspective, but I never knew about the competitive world of the amazing choir that Angela used as the backdrop of this novel. I have listened to the Amabile them and think about everything in this novel… again, I loose it! But it definitely didn’t stop me from downloading the CD and putting it on my iPod! This book’s soundtrack will always run through my mind!
I was not warned that I would need tissues so consider this your warning! Not just a few… THE BOX! Like I said, I don’t know that a book has ever had an impact this great on me and I was doing good holding it together until I got to page 290… and that is where I became a blubbery mess. I was an emotional basket case and had to keep wiping my eyes to see the last three chapters! I was a victim of the ugly cry and I am not ashamed to say that. I am glad that I was in the bed reading it and that everyone in my house was asleep. I needed to process on my own and having them around would have been bad!
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone- teens, parents, teachers, whomever. I can’t begin to tell what kind of impact it will have on you. Absorb every word, take in every line, and savor every moment!
Visit Angela Morrison at her website here.
Visit the Amabile Choir here and experience the amazing voices of these talented people.
Sing Me to Sleep hits bookshelves on March 4, 2010.... TOMORROW people!
Tomorrow is a big day because it is not only the release of Sing Me to Sleep... Angela will be here as part of her blog tour! I am so excited and honored to shared this day with her! Come back by tomorrow and check out what questions my students had for her!